After three wins on the bounce for Manchester United, there was a belief that Jose Mourinho’s side had turned their season around.
The Red Devils beat Everton at Old Trafford, Bournemouth away from home in the last minute before an incredible and dramatic victory against Juventus in Turin.
They headed into the Manchester derby high on confidence.
However, they were well and truly second best during the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad.
It left them 12 points behind their rivals after just 12 matches and it demonstrated the huge chasm behind the two sides right now.
But United need to forget about City. They’re simply not going to catch them.
Instead, they need to start looking at the gap between themselves and the Champions League qualification places.
The gap is already seven points and Mourinho may need to reinforce his squad in January in order to make up that difference.
And it seems Mourinho is already thinking about the transfer window - but not just who to sign.
According to the Telegraph, the Portuguese boss has already decided to sell two players.
The report claims that Mourinho is “prepared to cash in on Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo in a bid to bring in a new centre-half in January.”
As for Alexis Sanchez, they add “the club and Alexis Sanchez fear they are stuck with each other.”
While Bailly and Rojo could well be leaving the club, Mourinho has identified Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar and Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld as possible alternatives.
Mourinho may want to sell Bailly but there’s every chance the club may prevent the sale - just like they did with Anthony Martial in the summer.
Bailly is still only 24-years-old and was Mourinho first signing in 2016.
But the Ivorian defender has fallen out of favour at the club and hasn’t featured since being taken off after just 19 minutes of the 3-2 win against Newcastle at the start of October.
As for Rojo, he hasn’t played all season despite signing a new contract in March that keeps him at the club until 2021.
Meanwhile, Sanchez is currently on a £500,000-per-week contract and the 29-year-old is struggling 10 months into his four-year deal.
Considering his form and the fact he turns 30 next month, it’s difficult to see any club willing to break the bank to sign him.